A Marikina shoemaker and retailer who had to sell his motorcycle and his farm animals in the province was also forced to take out loans just to keep his business afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic's economic impact.
According to Maki Pulido’s report on “24 Oras,” Randy Palao sold 30 pairs of shoes and slippers before the pandemic, but nowadays he was lucky to sell 3 pairs.
“Minsan ‘yung upa namin dito, inuutang pa rin namin,” Palao said.
(Even the money we use for rent is borrowed.)
Palao said that despite this, he considered himself lucky as his business remained open.
The Marikina Shoe Industry, which previously saw P2 billion in annual gross sales, has been badly hit by the pandemic.
From 3,000 registered footwear and leather boot manufacturers, around 60 manufacturers remain open, with around 6,000 workers losing their jobs.
“Mula nung nag lockdown na ‘yun na talagang doon na kami nakaarnas na ng, kung ano ‘yung hirap talagang mararamdaman mo,” he said.
(Since the lockdown, we have been experiencing hardships.)
Moody’s Analytics projected that the Philippine economy would only be able to return to the state it was in before the COVID-19 pandemic by 2022.
“In contrast, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietnam have returned to previous output levels, while Indonesia and Thailand are on track to return this year. This makes the Philippines, the clear laggard in Asia,” it said.
“The Philippines has had difficulty containing new local COVID-19 infections. The easing of cases came in the wake of lockdown measures imposed in late March. The Philippines has one of the most stringent social restrictions,” it added. — Joahna Lei Casilao/DVM, GMA News